Fri. Jan 17th, 2020

Frontrunner Friday Oscar Predictions: Joker’s Wild

Joker’s wild…and so is that box office (Courtesy of Warner Bros Pictures)

With Halloween behind us, playtime is over and awards season is about to get real.

It feels almost impossible to deny the box office behemoth that is Joker. It currently sits at almost $900M worldwide, with almost $300M of that in the US. The Academy is starving for blockbusters as Best Picture nominees and got quite a few last year with Black Panther, A Star Is Born and Bohemian Rhapsody – all of which won Oscars, the latter being the leader with four wins. Blockbuster status is the only way that the major studios are finding a footing in the Oscar race, which has trended to smaller, indie studios and films with mostly modest box office receipts. What something like Bohemian Rhapsody did last year was also defy the critics scores and, with a 49 on Metacritic, it become the lowest rated Best Actor winner ever. None of that mattered because the film was such a worldwide hit. The film steamrolled through the guilds and industry awards with nominations and wins as it collected cash weekend after weekend. Joker now finds itself in a similar position. Massive blockbuster, loved by audiences, largely mixed to reviled by critics (it has a 59 on Metacritic) and with a central performance by Joaquin Phoenix that is transformative, much like BoRhap. Should it start picking up below the line nominations from various guilds next month you can bet on it being a Best Picture contender and Phoenix in the fight for a win.

I’m warming back up to Jojo Rabbit being a top tier contender, moving it to the top spot in Adapted Screenplay and top 5 for Film Editing. Recent history and trends support it and the beginning box office for the film looks good. Logic would tell me that I should also have Parasite in and I’m almost there. I have it as a top 3 contender in Picture, Director and Original Screenplay so if I think it can go all the way, then it would almost have to get in for Film Editing too.

News of the changes in voting for the International Feature Film Oscar didn’t change my top 5 at the moment and in some ways, it solidified it. The wider net of voting to all eligible members from the 10-film shortlist will likely favor streamers like Netflix and Amazon, who are well situated in this category.

Animated Feature also sees the big bump for Netflix’s I Lost My Body. I have a hard time imagining the animation branch not going all in for this gorgeous film, especially in the face of so many high-profile sequels from the Mouse House.

Here are my Frontrunner Friday Oscar predictions for November 1, 2019.


1. Marriage Story (Netflix – 11/6, theatrical / 12/6, streaming) – Venice/Telluride/TIFF/NYFF
2. Parasite (Neon – 10/11) – Cannes/Telluride/TIFF/NYFF
3. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony/Columbia – 7/26) – Cannes
4. Jojo Rabbit (Fox Searchlight – 10/18) – TIFF
5. The Irishman (Netflix – 11/1 theatrical / 11/27 streaming) – NYFF
6. 1917 (Universal – 12/25)
7. The Farewell (A24 – 7/12) – Sundance
8. The Two Popes (Netflix – 11/27, theatrical / 12/20 streaming) – Telluride/TIFF/AFI
9. Little Women (Sony/Columbia – 12/25)
10. Joker (Warner Bros – 10/4) – Venice/TIFF/NYFF


1. Bong Joon-ho – Parasite (Neon)
2. Noah Baumbach – Marriage Story (Netflix)
3. Quentin Tarantino – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony/Columbia)
4. Sam Mendes – 1917 (Universal)
5. Martin Scorsese – The Irishman (Netflix)


1. Adam Driver – Marriage Story (Netflix)
2. Joaquin Phoenix – Joker (Warner Bros)
3. Jonathan Pryce – The Two Popes (Netflix)
4. Leonardo DiCaprio – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony/Columbia)
5. Antonio Banderas – Pain and Glory (Sony Classics)


1. Renée Zellweger – Judy (Roadside Attractions)
2. Scarlett Johansson – Marriage Story (Netflix)
3. Awkwafina – The Farewell (A24)
4. Charlize Theron – Bombshell (Lionsgate)
5. Saoirse Ronan – Little Women (Sony/Columbia)


1. Brad Pitt – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony/Columbia)
2. Tom Hanks – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Sony/TriStar)
3. Anthony Hopkins – The Two Popes (Netflix)
4. Al Pacino – The Irishman (Netflix)
5. Willem Dafoe – The Lighthouse (A24)


1. Laura Dern – Marriage Story (Netflix)
2. Jennifer Lopez – Hustlers (STX Entertainment)
3. Zhao Shuzhen – The Farewell (A24)
4. Margot Robbie – Bombshell (Lionsgate)
5. Florence Pugh – Little Women (Sony/Columbia)


1. Jojo Rabbit (Fox Searchlight)
2. The Two Popes (Netflix)
3. The Irishman (Netflix)
4. Little Women (Sony/Columbia)
5. Joker (Warner Bros)


1. Marriage Story (Netflix)
2. Parasite (Neon)
3. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony/Columbia)
4. The Farewell (A24)
5. Bombshell (Lionsgate)


1. Ford v. Ferrari (Andrew Buckland, Michael McCusker, Dirk Westervelt) – 20th Century Fox
2. The Irishman (Thelma Schoonmaker) – Netflix
3. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Fred Raskin) – Sony/Columbia
4. Marriage Story (Jennifer Lame) – Netflix
5. Jojo Rabbit (Tom Eagles) – Fox Searchlight


1. 1917 (Roger Deakins) – Universal
2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Robert Richardson) – Sony/Columbia
3. The Irishman (Rodrigo Prieto) – Netflix
4. A Hidden Life (Jörg Widmer) – Fox Searchlight
5. The Lighthouse (Jarin Blaschke) – A24


1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Barbara Ling) – Sony/Columbia
2. The Two Popes (Mark Tildesley) – Netflix
3. The Irishman (Bob Shaw) – Netflix
4. Cats (Eve Stewart) – Universal
5. Ad Astra (Kevin Thompson) – 20th Century Fox


1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Arianne Phillips) – Sony/Columbia
2. Little Women (Jacqueline Durran) – Sony/Columbia
3. The Irishman (Sandy Powell) – Netflix
4. Downton Abbey (Anna Robbins) – Focus Features
5. Dolemite Is My Name (Ruth E. Carter) – Netflix


1. 1917 (Thomas Newman) – Universal
2. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (John Williams) – Disney
3. Little Women (Alexandre Desplat) – Sony/Columbia
4. Joker (Hildur Guðnadóttir) – Warner Bros
5. Marriage Story (Randy Newman) – Netlfix


1. Frozen II – “Into the Unknown” (Disney)
2. Toy Story 4 – “The Ballad of the Lonesome Cowboy” (Disney/Pixar)
3. Rocketman – “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” (Paramount)
4. Cats – “Beautiful Ghosts” (Universal)
5. Harriet, “Stand Up” (Focus Features)


1. 1917 (Universal)
2. Ad Astra (20th Century Fox)
3. Ford v Ferrari (20th Century Fox
4. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Disney)
5. Joker (Warner Bros)


1. 1917 (Universal)
2. Ford v Ferrari (20th Century Fox)
3. Ad Astra (20th Century Fox)
4. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony/Columbia)
5. Rocketman (Paramount)


1. Bombshell (Lionsgate)
2. Judy (Roadside Attractions)
3. Joker (Warner Bros)
4. The Irishman (Netflix)
5. Downton Abbey (Focus Features)


1. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Disney)
2. The Lion King (Disney)
3. Avengers: Endgame (Disney)
4. Ad Astra (20th Century Fox)
5. The Irishman (Netflix)


1. Toy Story 4 (Disney/Pixar)
2. Frozen II (Disney)
3. I Lost My Body (Netflix)
4. Weathering With You (GKIDS)
5. Missing Link (LAIKA/Annapurna/UAR)


1. American Factory (Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar) – Netflix
2. Apollo 11 (Todd Douglas Miller) – Neon
3. One Child Nation (Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang) – Amazon
4. Honeyland (Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov)
5. The Cave (Feras Fayyad) – National Geographic


1. South Korea – Parasite (Bong Joon-ho) – Neon
2. Spain – Pain and Glory (Pedro Almodóvar) – Sony Classics
3. France – Les Misérables (Ladj Ly) – Amazon
4. Sweden – And Then We Danced (Levan Akin) – Music Box
5. Senegal – Atlantics (Mati Diop) – Netflix


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